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Old 01-11-2014, 04:03 PM
 
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This is question is for the people who do not know how to drive meaning that they have never learned to drive. If you were in a situation where the driver of the car you were a passenger in suddenly lost consciousness due to an unexpected medical emergency, how would you react? Would you know where the brakes of car were or how to use them if you could get to them (assuming you were sitting in the front passenger seat belt)?

For drivers do you think that non-drivers need to be taught some basic skills of how to stop a car in the type of emergency that I described above?
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Old 01-11-2014, 04:43 PM
 
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This is just a WAG, but I think the number of people who don't know the basics of how to operate a vehicle, crossed with the number of times those people could possibly find themselves in a situation as you describe (based on the number of actual medical emergencies that have actually occurred), would be so low as to not even show up on a graph.

I'd be very surprised if more than a few adults in the US wouldn't know where the brake was. It's far more likely that people wouldn't know how to respond, whether or not they were drivers, or were physically unable to.
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vmaxnc View Post
It's far more likely that people wouldn't know how to respond, whether or not they were drivers, or were physically unable to.
Right. It doesn't matter. Even someone well versed in driving would be hard pressed to respond well to that scenario. You may or may not have enough time to do anything at all to stop without crashing. Depends upon road, traffic, etc.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:03 PM
 
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I don't think it's far fetched. With my elderly father there have been times when I've thought, boy he may nod off and then what will I do? (He no longer drives.)

I'd be interested in knowing what IS the best thing to do. Grab the wheel, then if stopping is necessary lightly apply the e-brake and maybe downshift?
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
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I was 12 and sitting in the front bench seat of my dad's Ford pickup when he suffered a stroke. We were driving along I-10 out in the country. Luckily he started slowing down as his foot could not stay on the gas, but then he couldn't apply the brakes either. I realized something was wrong and when he did not reply, I was able to reach down and hit the brakes (we were on the shoulder by then). Scary for sure, but I was then able to drive the truck sitting in the middle of the seat, down to the next exit and across a road to a gas station. I had never driven before, but I knew what I had to do to get to help.

I would think most everyone could take some action if they realized it was needed to stop the car. Getting over the consoles in modern cars would be the problem. But then again, all of the people that experience "unintended acceleration" and can't somehow put the shift lever into neutral to slow down the car, does not encourage me.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:46 PM
 
Location: La Jolla, CA
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In an automotive forum, you're probably going to get a biased sample of people who are more enthusiastic about it, so a lot of us probably knew when we were like four.

Would "most people" have any idea outside of a group of enthusiasts? I'm going to say that, given how many people can't drive worth crap even after doing it multiple times a day for years, "most people" might not know. But that's just a guess.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 43north87west View Post
In an automotive forum, you're probably going to get a biased sample of people who are more enthusiastic about it, so a lot of us probably knew when we were like four.

Would "most people" have any idea outside of a group of enthusiasts? I'm going to say that, given how many people can't drive worth crap even after doing it multiple times a day for years, "most people" might not know. But that's just a guess.
I think it's a pretty good guess.
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Old 01-12-2014, 09:39 PM
 
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Kind of a spin on this question..

I assume this has happened to other people before.. You're driving down the road and a car comes up behind you, going 20+mph over the speed limit, with their hazard lights on.

Now, I assume that anyone who does this, there is some form of medical emergency happening.. I can't think of any other excuse for doing it.. Only possibility I can think of is like a volunteer firefighter responding to a call or something, but I would think they would be told that it's not OK for them to do that. Perhaps rushing to a hospital before a loved one passes away..

In today's times, with just about everyone having a cell phone.. Do you think the odds are that you'll get there faster driving there yourself, again, assuming this is a medical emergency situation?

Here's my thoughts.. Based on living in a 'rural' state/area. These thoughts may change in other areas..

1) You're driving WAY faster than the rest of traffic.. When i've seen this happen, i'm generally doing 65 - 70 on the interstate and I would estimate that the folks I have seen do it are traveling at LEAST 90.. One I would say upwards of 110mph. Just like the idiots driving 20mph below the limit on the interstate.. When there's that great a closing rate.. It's an accident waiting to happen. Not to mention that the people doing it probably aren't thinking entirely clearly or giving 100% of their attention to the road and aren't used to driving at those speeds.

2) A cop isn't going to be pleased if you don't stop. So, if you get caught.. You're going to be stopped, and then the cop will likely radio in for an ambulance, which will likely have a harder time finding/getting to you 'between mile marker 23 and 24' than at your home address. Not to mention the possibility that they have to go past you by 2 miles to the next exit to turn around and come back to where you are on the interstate. Then.. I guess it depends on the cop as to whether you get a ticket or not. Assuming you do.. That 40mph over the limit.. I don't know a state where that has a good outcome. Here, that's about a $400 fine plus 6 of the 12 points on your license... And I think that's about as good as it gets. I figure if you didn't stop, here's where the 'not pleased' part really comes in.. Because you're probably also going to get nailed with a failure to stop for a blue light, which isn't going to go over well, either. Plus the increased odds of severe tire damage from a spike strip (Ok, we're stretching things a bit now, but..) and the increased possibility of a shocking ending to the trip courtesy of a taser.

3) If the person you're rushing to the hospital stops breathing while you're driving.. What are you gonna do? At least with an ambulance, they have the ability to provide support until arriving at the hospital.

Just kind of curious if anyone has ever done this themselves, or seen it happen and others thoughts on the matter.

I can certainly see the temptation.. And, if you were in an emergency situation.. And when the situation occurred (Whether you were driving or were at home)
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Staten Island
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In one motion; Grab the wheel, put the car in neutral & steer to the safest place possible while trying to brake the car.
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Old 01-13-2014, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
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A long time ago my Sister in law had a severe stroke. her husband and I got her to the car. I told him to sit in back and hold her upright to reduce the blood pressure on her hemorrhage. I then put the flashers on and drove smoothly and rapidly to the hospital.

By BIL was told that this rapid transport had kept her alive long enough to get proper help and if we had waited for an ambulance to get to the house and back to the hospital she would probably have died.

OP - I expect even non drivers know where the gearshift and brake pedal are located. At worse a passenger could steer the car into something soft to get it stopped. Then call 911.
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